I have been cooped up in the house for about 10 days.
Snow, Ice, Frigid Temperatures, No School.
It is awesome!
That’s Oreo, the dog, and THE Mustache Cat! The wind chill here hit -30 degrees, so they have been gazing outside rather than playing outside.
Yes! The Mustache Cat is spending these snowy days in our house. Unbelievable!
In case you didn’t hear it one of the million times I’ve mentioned it before, I saw his cute mustached photo on facebook almost a year ago. A friend posted that someone needed to save him before he was euthanized. He had been trapped by animal control and scheduled to be killed when his 3 days was up. They told me that he was wild and “aggressive.” He is definitely wild. He is not aggressive, just shy.
And this is Merlin, when the snow first started to fall.
After 10 days of cold temps and spending so much time in the barn, Merlin is like, stopitalready. He is ready for the green, green grass of spring.
One thing I like about snow are the prints that are left in it.
Hoof prints from the horses.
Bunny prints. hop, hop.
And here’s a combination of dog prints, people prints, and a wheelbarrow wheel.
With snow, you realize something you don’t notice withOUT snow.
You realize how many creatures have taken the path you are on BEFORE you.
(Not only in the snow, but in life.)
These are bird prints. I guess she/he/it wasn’t sure where she/he/it was headed, so she/he/it went around and around.
(Oh yeah, I’ve done that many times. Not sure where I’m headed, so I go in circles.)
I heart snow.
I adore the way everything wears a SNOW HAT. It makes the world look so magical.
But one the problems I haven’t resolved with cold weather is water for all my creatures. The chicken water freezes in a matter of hours.
Oh, my injured chicken. She is still hobbling around, but she is eating and drinking fine. The challenge has been to keep the other chickens (and rooster) away from her. Especially since they are spending most of their time in the house because of the weather. Thank you for telling me about Bumblefoot, I had not heard about that. I looked it up and checked her. I don’t believe she has it. I think she hurt one of her legs.
And water for the horses. It is important in this weather that horses drink lots of water. However, they have a tendency not to. I fill up a bucket several times through-out the day and go to each horse with it. “Drink!” I tell them. Sometimes they do; sometimes they don’t. It has been so cold that their whiskers get frost on them.
The horses have water in the barn too. I haul buckets and buckets to the barn. I had an electrician install an outlet so I could put a little heater in their water bucket in the barn. But the faucet is far far away. And I haven’t figured out how to NOT slosh it on my pants every single time.
And then the pants freeze.
These are the things I never knew anything about, living in Georgia most of my life.
Our mountain creek, the place where the horses often drink, froze all the way across.
It is somewhere under all that ice and snow.
So I decide one morning after my PBO (see below for recipe) to take a sledge hammer and slam a hole in the creek. It was incredibly cold that morning. I worked and worked and finally got a place open to the water.
But I wasn’t content with that little hole. I wanted more. So I continued to slam the ice with the sledgehammer. And then…somehow when I slung that heavy sledge hammer in just the right way, in just the right place, it did indeed break the ice. A big chunk of ice! And the sledgehammer just kept going and the weight of it pulled me into the water. o.m.g. Now this creek isn’t deep, but I was in to my waist and I was freezing. I had a hard time getting out. Blue, my dog, who is always with me, came onto the frozen creek and helped me pull out. I love him. I was numb and frozen. I ran as fast as I could to the house to get out of my heavy and wet boots and clothes.
My husband was like, what happened? what were you doing?
“Uh, I was making a hole for the horses to drink when I fell in,” I said.
I was actually….just goofing off in the snow and ice and pretending like it was work. I mean, now that I think about it, the horses weren’t going to walk out on the icy creek to to drink. No way. But I’m here to tell you, it was a blast, an adventure.
We ate well the first few days. I happened to have had lots of fresh veggies and fruits on hand when the storm first hit. Salad, broccoli, mushrooms, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, cantaloupe, spinach. Oh yes, we ate well. And healthy.
And after we ate all the fresh food, I headed to the potato bin. We ate sweet potatoes. And baked potatoes. And butternut squash that I grew. And I found one acorn squash in the bottom of the bin, also from the garden.
And when that bin was empty, I headed to the freezer for frozen food. Frozen shrimp, yay! Frozen sweet peas. Frozen field peas. Frozen black eyed peas.
And next to the pantry for canned and boxed and bagged food. Rice. Corn. Black beans. And thank goodness, so much pasta! We have made it just fine. We have eaten well. We are warm. We have plenty of toilet paper and coffee. Life is good.
Yes, our pipes froze, but not all of them at the same time. So, we’ve always had water somewhere in the house.
As more snow arrived I came to appreciate one thing in particular. I mean, other than roof, heat, water, clothes, fireplace. This one other thing is something I have not been thankful enough for. Ever. I am super happy about this one thing. And it is high time that I gave this one thing the glory it deserves.
PB. Peanut Butter.
Wonderful, delicious, nutritious, and filling peanut butter.
Just go get the jar and a spoon and unscrew the lid and there ya go. Do you like creamy of crunchy? Me, I’m a crunchy gal. The crunchier the better. My favorite is Peter Pan Crunchy. If I can’t find that, I go for the JIF. Store brands are unacceptable, completely lacking. And the natural ones are fine and will do, but I don’t like the way the oil separates and the taste just isn’t the same. And please! You must always screw on the lid very very tightly or you lose the fresh flavor.
When we first got married, I learned that my husband never screws on the PB lid tight enough, so I buy two jars of PB. One for me and one for him. I have very sensitive taste buds. I taste OFF things more than most people do. In fact, back when I used to eat chicken, I could tell if the chicken was cooked yesterday rather than today. Or, if the meat was not super fresh.
PB is awesome. Who invented it, I wonder?
I was raised on PB. My Dad would mix peanut butter, butter, and some jelly together every night in a little bowl. We’d eat it on my Mom’s fresh biscuits. We called it “goulash.”
My Mom didn’t bake a lot of sweets, but one treat that she would bake for us sometimes were Peanut Butter Cookies. Hers are the best. Crunchy and yet chewy.
And what about PB Sandwiches? Is there anything better for lunch? I like mine with a few golden raisins scattered in. My husband likes his with marshmallow fluff. My daughter likes it plain. None of us add jelly. No PBJ here. You? How do you take yours?
And yes, I’m from Georgia, I also appreciate peanuts themselves.
Even though I’m not from peanut farm country, we ate plenty of peanuts growing up. My Dad LOVES roasted peanuts. I always get a bag when he comes to visit. He’ll keep some in his pockets and pop open some when we are out and about on the farm.
We also enjoy Boiled Peanuts. I think that’s a southern thing? Folks boil them in big black kettles on the side of the road in the summer and fall. You just pull in and buy a bag of piping hot p-nuts. You’ll probably be handed your peanuts in a plastic bag inside of a brown paper bag. Though, I have seen some peanuts served in large paper cups. But that’s not the traditional method. No.
Now, if you don’t already know this, let me tell you a thing or two about boiled peanuts. You don’t just pull one out of the bag and open it and eat the nuts all at once and toss the shell. No sir-ree-bob. First, you put the shell, yes the whole shell, in your mouth. Warm, salty, nutty juice. Just suck on it and move it around in your mouth. Then, once you suck all that salty goodness off the shell, you take it out of your mouth and hold it in your hand. Then, you bite the tip enough to crack it open. Suck on that end of the shell to get more of that peanut-y juice out of there. Then, and only then, do you crack open the whole shell, removing the top in one piece. Finally, pop those babies in your mouth. There will be two or three or sometimes four nuts in there. Eat ’em all up.
That is the way you eat freshly boiled peanuts. If you are driving and see a home-made sign “Boiled P-Nuts.” Just pull right in and get you some.
Please don’t eat the whole, entire bag yourself.
To this day my daughter won’t eat boiled peanuts. And she won’t like me telling this story, but I will. For your own good.
We were headed up our “Vacation Farm” (before we moved to a “Full Time Farm”) to meet my parents for a fun weekend. I saw a home-made sign “Boiled P-Nuts” on the side of the road and whipped into the roadside stand. I bought two bags. One for now; one for later when we got to the farm. My daughter was young; I was busy driving. Well, that child sat in her car seat and
When we got to our little farmhouse, she started throwing up. It was horrible. And graphic.
So, she’s done with boiled peanuts. I am sorry to report that she vowed then and there to never in her whole life eat another boiled peanut. Ever.
So don’t do that to yourself. Take it slow. And easy. They are yummy and you are going to want to eat the whole bag. But don’t.
And if you have peanut allergies? I just don’t know what to say. What do you eat instead of PB? I have a friend who is allergic to chocolate. I’ve always had such sympathy for him. Imagine life without chocolate. I can’t. Same with PB.
Now, I mentioned PBO. Snow has put me on a Peanut Butter Oatmeal (or as I call it, PBO) Kick.
You’ve got to try this. It is so yummy. Bake a batch, top it with a cut-up banana, add some chocolate chips, and some creamy milk. Oh, y’all!
PBO (Peanut Butter Oatmeal)
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 TBSP melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup PB
1. Mix everything together in a big bowl.
2. Spread in greased baking dish (9x13ish).
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
More snow in the forecast!
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl living in the Country, Rebekah